People who sweat every expense should stop surveying the damage and focus on revenues.
Success is elusive. It doesn’t matter how much you make if it just leaks out the back of your life. We can’t be free from pink slip culture unless we know how to maximize the power of our existing income – while diversifying our revenue sources. The starting point? Tune out the “managing your money” gurus and think about finances like a business does.
It’s not accurate to grade our financial health in terms of isolated factors, such as a paid off mortgage or a fat salary. Some of the wealthiest people I know don’t make much money, but they sure know how not to spend it. The smartest way to approach our finances is to view ourselves as a “business of one” (those who are married or seriously co-habitating can expand that to two).
The Business of One encompasses everything: what we bank, what we spend, what we invest, and what we blow. As a business of one, we can self-analyze using the same financial statements businesses do: the cash flow statement, the profit and loss, and the balance sheet. You must consider all three to assess the health of a business; the same is true of individuals. It’s rare to be strong across the board. Usually there is a disconnect or a leak somewhere.
You don’t plug those leaks by budgeting. People who sweat every expense should stop surveying the damage and focus on revenues. Having said that, I *am* a huge fan of online banking, because your transactions can be easily pulled into powerful financial statements. When receipts are stuffed in shoeboxes, you can’t do much crunching.
When you download your transactions, you’re confronted with brutal facts about how much you burn. And if you’re using accounting software like Quicken, you can quickly calculate your net worth also. Many of us have a negative net worth – part of being an American is putting flat screen TVs ahead of our kid’s education.
Before the assets we develop bring in cash, the leaks must get plugged. That means understanding the “business of one” and how money moves in and out of our life. In the next chapters, we’ll take a closer look at each of these financial statements in turn. When we’re done, we’ll have a clearer sense of how the cash flow from our assets can help us.
Want to buy Free From Corporate America or see reviews of the final published version from readers like yourself? The printed book is now available on Amazon.com with product reviews.
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